KARACHI - The government has to make focused policies and should remove unreasonable taxes to make print industry more prosperous, valuable, and economically viable.

This was demanded by the speakers at the soft launch ceremony of PrintPak-2017 Exhibition slated to be held at Karachi Expo Center from November 18-20. Former chairman of Pakistan Association of Printing and Graphics Arts Industry (PAPGAI) Minhajud Din talked about taxation issues being faced by the industry. “We need to have 50 percent increas in per capita consumption of paper in order to be at par with India,” he added. He said that there is a need of friendly paper policy.

“There is 51 percent duty on basic raw material which is hurting the paper industry badly because this much duty is not found anywhere in the world. We expected changes in the budget 2017-18 but nothing positive happened. If the government can reduce sales tax for textile industry, why can’t this happen for printing industry,” he said. He said about two million people in Pakistan are engaged with printing and graphic arts industry which constitutes the second largest source of job opportunities after the textile industry in Pakistan. Saleem Memon, leader of Paper Merchant Association, said “No doubt, this industry has a great potential to explore new international markets to raise the bar of exports and further contribute in the country’s foreign exchange.”

He said they shared a study with National Tariff Commission (NTC) disclosing that countries increased their exports and recorded industrial growth by rationalising tariff and lowering raw material prices.

All Pakistan Paper Merchants Chairman Mohammad Saleem Bikiya said anti-dumping is a big issue for the industry. “NTC has stated that no dumping is done here. But imposing anti-dumping duty is to make local items expensive,” he said.

PAPGAI Chairman Muhammad Irfan talked about the role of the association for the betterment of Printing and Graphic Arts Industry by providing professional training and employment opportunities to the youth of the country. It is pertinent to mention here that PAAPGAI has been conducting printing exhibition for last 27 years.